- Associate Professor of Biology at Stephens College School of Health Sciences and Physician Assistant Studies
- BA: Duke University
- BS: Arizona State University
- PhD: University of Florida
- Postdoctoral Fellowship: Tulane University
Teaching: A&P, reproductive sciences, and molecular foundations of medicine. Former and future VRSP mentor.
My research program is focused on comparative reproductive anatomy of crocodylians, particularly studying the functional complexity and rapid morphological divergence across crocodylian penile forms. We are finding clear, large-scale phylogenetic patterns of morphological difference among major clades, which suggests strong selective pressures on male genital morphologies. As a study model, crocodylians provide a range of 23+ extant species, of which there is a pronounced lack of detailed knowledge about copulatory interactions and genital anatomical novelties. Over the last few years, I have developed a collaborative group of US, South African, and Argentinian colleagues at universities, zoos (notably the Omaha and St. Louis Zoos) and commercial operations to move toward characterizing reproductive morphological variation among Crocodylidea, Alligatoridea, and Gavialidae genitalia. We are characterizing the architecture and properties of functional tissue types and deducing the tissue-to-tissue interactions that facilitate effective gamete transfer. These interactions are critical for fitness and most likely influence cryptic female choice of sperm utilization.